Afton Park celebrates weddings with photos and fashion show

Life enrichment aide Marjorie Desmet organizes event residents ‘are still talking about’

Afton Park Place life enrichment manager Stacy Petrie is commending life enrichment worker Marjorie Desmet for creating an event at the Sarnia long-term care home June 21 that celebrated weddings and the fashion tied to matrimony.

June was Seniors’ Month, and Marjorie wanted to create an event for residents that reflected things they enjoyed talking about. Weddings are always a hot topic.

One staff member bought a box of wedding dresses from Value Village, and that got the ball rolling, says Stacy, who wore a 1970s bridesmaid’s dress during the event.

“(Marjorie) had many long hours invested and even some sleepless nights as she was repairing old bridesmaids’ dresses,” Stacy says.

Pictured above, participants in the June 21 Afton Park Place wedding fashion show strike a pose.

More than 40 of the home’s 128 residents as well as family members and staff provided photos that Lambton College co-op student Bailee Mathany gathered for a slideshow Marjorie created. Bailee also got the backstory for many of the photos.

The activity started at 2 p.m. with the 20-minute wedding-photo slideshow. Marjorie emceed the event and shared the history of the pictures.

The fashion show followed. There were wedding dresses and bridesmaids’ dresses from the 1960s, right up to current fashions that were modelled.

“We had a blast,” Stacy says. “The residents are still talking about this event, saying ‘it was just beautiful.’ Marjorie did an amazing job organizing it. … We had a good crowd watching: residents, family, management and staff all came out to the event.”

Stacy says the event brought back fond memories for residents. Many were teary-eyed but also laughing and wooing as they looked at the photos and at the people wearing the dresses.

“They just loved the dresses,” she says.

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